Oct. 5th, 2011 09:21 am
sohotrightnow: ([etc] al ha-t'vila)
So, it is the High Holidays, which means I'm currently in a very reflective place. I may have a long post coming later, because I've been journaling a lot and dealing with a lot and trying to figure out what I am capable of doing to make my own life better so that I can engage with the world in better, more productive ways and make it a better place. This has been one of the hardest years of my life (which, let's face it, is saying something) and I've had to take a good hard look at myself.

But this is a slightly different thing, a more outward-looking thing (or maybe a different side to the same coin): part of the High Holidays is that you attempt to turn the page on the book of your life, and that involves looking back and finishing, as best you can, the sentences that you may have left half-written. This is all in ink; there are no erasers, but you can continue the story, and the people involved can continue their own stories, as well, without all of you having that half-finished sentence sitting there staring at you.
Jewish tradition recognizes a distinction between sins which impact the relationship between a person and God, and sins which impact the relationship between people. As we read in Talmud:
R. Elazar b. Azariah taught this interpretation of the verse "From all your sins you shall be made pure before God." (Lev. 16:30) For transgressions between a person and the Everpresent One, the Day of Atonement atones, but for transgressions between a person and one's fellow, the Day of Atonement atones only if the person regains the other's goodwill."
(courtesy of Velveteen Rabbi)
What that means is that if you've hurt someone else, it's not enough to simply ask God to forgive you; you have to make things right with the other person, too. So if there's anything you want to talk to me about -- something I've done to hurt you, something you think I may still be struggling with myself, you can take this opportunity to talk to me about it. I'll apologize and do what I can to make things right, so we can continue our stories (and our story).

Comments are screened and anon is enabled. My email, if you want to contact me that way, is cidercupcakes at gmail dot com.
sohotrightnow: the top of a swimming young woman's torso. ([stock] magen david)
I am probably going to take a bit of a hiatus shortly, except maybe for posts to the conversion filter? IDK. I did a lot of navel-gazing in preparation for the Days of Awe, and then, in what can only be a sign of something from somebody, I got a flat tire on the way to the service yesterday. I also got a lot more clear ideas for an original thing that's been frustrating me for months on Wednesday morning, and the sermon Sponsoring Rabbi gave was about being part of the community and the campaign they're launching to try and figure out what more we can do, which starts with talking to each other. I don't know, there were just a whole lot of things going around in my mind -- which is appropriate -- and I've been scarce lately anyway, so just a heads-up, if I continue to be scarce, I'm not dead and things aren't bad, I'm just in an "ebb" period in the ebb-and-flow of this whole thing and I'm wondering if I need to sacrifice Internet time to get writing done and get involved more. I'll probably still be reading, and obviously I'll fulfill my [ profile] help_pakistan commitments! But, you know, if I'm scarce, don't panic, because I know it's normally impossible to shut me up.

This is pretty important, though. I'll save the worst of the tl;dr for the conversion filter, but I will say that a big part of what motivated me to finally stop putting off seeing a doctor about my attention span issues was reading some of the books my rabbi recommended for High Holy Days preparation. And since I've been on the Concerta -- not only am I less careless (by which I know I've hurt people unintentionally), but my mood is so much more stable, and I'm so much calmer. I hadn't thought I had a temper until I discovered what it was like to not have every little thing make me angry or upset or anxious. And I know some of it's been unintentional, but the fact is, I'm a jerk, and most of the time I'm okay with that, but sometimes I'm petty and mean and things make me irrationally angry and I take it out on whoever said whatever stupid thing pressed my button even though they didn't mean to. And frankly, that's probably happened more times than I can remember. And I don't want to blame any and all bad behavior on the ADHD, because, you know, like I say, I'm a jerk.* But I think it's probably been the biggest factor in my hurting people in the past year, intentionally or not, and I want to apologize for that.

I'm going to repost [personal profile] fox1013's message for this time of year.
One of the big pieces of the ten days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur is that you reflect over the past year, and you attempt to (A) accept and forgive anything that has been done to you, and (B) apologize and ask forgiveness for anything you have done to others.

Anonymous is enabled, and all comments are screened. If I've done anything to hurt you this year, let me know. If there's anything you think I might still be upset over, let me know that too. I won't unscreen unless you specifically request I do- or, well, I'll reply, but then I will re-screen immediately. (Er, if it's anon, I do not know if that's possible? But yes. I will try!) The goal isn't to start fresh- that's often not possible- but to acknowledge what has happened over this year (or any previous time, if you so choose) as an attempt to not have it happen again.

I promise to treat anything you say seriously and respectfully, and I will seriously be considering it over the next ten days.
ILU, bbs. ♥ Since I didn't say it yesterday, Shana Tova if you celebrate it, and Eid Said if you celebrate that, and happy Friday to everyone else!

*I'm calling myself that as shorthand for a lot of things, not all of them negative! So please don't feel like you have to rush and tell me that I'm not a jerk. There are plenty of things about my jerkitude that I feel are positives -- I'm fairly sensible, I don't suffer fools gladly, I have a dark sense of humor that gets me through really hard times -- but then there are some downsides as well, and this time of year is all about being able to see and accept and work with both. Embracing the good, and acknowledging the not-so-good and trying to figure out how to make it better, or at least decrease the amount of damage it can do.

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